The court of public opinion is overwhelmingly positive about dentistry

05 February 2024

A recent comprehensive survey of the dental industry undertaken by Frank Taylor & Associates, provided encouraging, thoughtful and realistic insight into the current state of the market, future challenges and developments.

Never has public opinion been so dominant; words or phrases like ‘trending’ and ‘going viral’ have become new additions to our vocabularies.  It simply goes to prove how important consumer sentiment is, and how every organisation and industry needs to check in regularly with their audience, and most importantly listen to the feedback.

In discussing the results, Oliver Acton of Frank Taylor & Associates, reflected, “We always value the data from these surveys very highly, they give a unique and broad insight into how industry members are feeling. My overall take on the latest survey is that it is highly encouraging. Respondents were realistic about the challenges facing the industry and the need for change in certain areas, particularly NHS contracts, which did not really come as a surprise. There was a willingness, energy and appetite to drive change, and really grab the opportunity for improvement, this can only bode well for the future.”

Reinforcing this message, Oliver continued, “Perhaps the most encouraging feature was that the overwhelming majority of respondents were positive about the industry, its future and pleased they had chosen dentistry as a career option. Common themes we saw were around the passion for the industry as a whole and a drive for continuous improvement. This latter point in particular was reinforced as the scope of technology advances, something that was met with almost unanimous excitement; scanning, 3D printing, and the use of AI were all seen as areas where big strides can be taken.

“Commitment to the industry and their careers came through strongly too, 61% of respondents said they had ambitions to own their own practice in the future, with a further 35% still undecided, but not ruling it out as a long-term goal.

“It’s a most interesting set of results, and I do think it’s important to add a bit of context. Generally, people are slow to praise and quick to criticise, and in the recent past the industry has been through some particularly unique challenges in its response to the pandemic. You’d think an anonymous survey would be the ideal forum for many to criticise, but results were balanced, fair and in the majority of aspects, very positive.”

Read the report here